Vienna/Jakarta/Canberra/Algier, 29 October 2008 Press release

Joint central European national holiday celebrations are setting a precedent

Vienna/Jakarta/Canberra/Algier, 29 October 2008 – This year, the embassies of the Republic of Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic celebrated their national holidays jointly at various places throughout the world:

Following the first joint national holiday celebration by the central European EU partners Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary in Jakarta last year, this year saw “multilateral central European receptions” held in several countries around the world.

While Austria’s Ambassador to Jakarta, Klaus Wölfer, and his Hungarian colleague had a Pannonian buffet laid out at the legendary Indonesia Kempinski with the support of Burgenland-born hotel director Gerhard Mitrovits, accompanied by music by Johann Strauss and Franz Léhar, Ambassador Sylvia Meier-Kajbic in Algiers and her Czech colleague organised a joint event as part of a culinary “Austria Week” at the Sheraton, which is run by the Austrian Hans-Jörg Kreitner. The delicacies at the Sheraton included Tafelspitz and Prague ham, accompanied by music from Viennese operettas and Czech melodies which were performed by a tenor and a pianist from Austria.

In Canberra, the ambassadors of Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic jointly hosted a reception at which the local “Austro-Australian Choir” performed the national anthems of the three countries in their respective national tongues. A minute’s silence was observed in memory of Czech Ambassador Ivo Ždárek, who was killed in September in a terrorist attack on the Marriott Hotel in Pakistan.

The background to these joint activities is the temporal coincidence of the national holidays of Hungary (23 October), Austria (26 October) and the Czech Republic (28 October), but also their close cultural ties which range from musical tradition to the culinary arts.

With these joint events, the ambassadors of the central European countries demonstrated the friendship and partnership which connect them, which is also borne out by their close cooperation in protecting their citizens abroad.

At the same time their joint presence symbolised the vitality of the European project to the host countries Algeria, Australia and Indonesia more immediately and effectively than many words.

Austrian Embassy Jakarta
Tel.: (++62/21) 25 93 037
Fax: (++62/21) 52 92 06 51
Website Austrian Embassy Jakarta

Austrian Embassy Canberra
Tel.: (++61/2) 6295 1533
Fax: (++61/2) 6239 6751
Website Austrian Embassy Canberra

Austrian Embassy Algier
Tel.: (++213/21) 69 10 86
Fax: (++213/21) 69 12 32